SINCE the terror attack on Bacha Khan University in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which killed 20 people a debate has been going on in the country about the poor implementation of NAP. From the beginning of the year 2016 there has been no respite from the incessant attacks the terrorists have mounted against security forces, students, and ordinary citizens around the country. According to official sources, more than 60 people have been killed and over 100 others wounded in the recent terror strikes. A broad section of political and public opinion in the country has attributed this spike to the failure of the National Action Plan launched in the wake of Taliban assault on Peshawar's Army Public School in December 2014. In this connection Interior Minister Ch Nisar has come in for a lot of criticism for his failure to implement the NAP in letter and spirit.
Analysts have pointed out that all the government has done since launching NAP is to make greater use of military courts and hang those convicted for terrorism-related offences. But NAP is much more than this. It is indeed a matter of concern that even after 12 months only one out of the 20 points of the NAP has been implemented in the form of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Other objectives and targets outlined in the NAP have turned out to be no more than empty rhetoric. An important part of NAP was the formation of a National Counter-terroriam Authority but no serious work has been done so far to give it concrete shape. The daring attack on Bacha Khan university also proved that the network of terrorists continues to operate with clockwork precision as before. The government has also not yet taken effective action to rein in the hate speech in mosques ad madressahs. As everyone knows, the cleric of Lal Masjid continues to broadcast his pro-IS message right in the middle of the country's capital with impunity. Another glaring slippage is that the authorities concerned have failed to curb the activities of the banned terrorist organisations which continue their operations under new labels.
The government is said to have identified a large number of religious schools getting financial support from other countries, but it is unable to stop terror financing due to the complicated nature and hidden channels of money transfers. The registration of religious schools is underway in the country but no action has yet been taken to regulate the education system in the madrassas which is anachronistic and out of sync with the demands of the modern age. Authorities have also not been able to dismantle the communication networks of terrorist organisations as many banned outfits, including sectarian organizations, are running their propaganda campaigns by using social media tools.
The failure is all encompassing and is attributable to Pakistan's flawed strategy against terrorism. It is going to be a long drawn war and we have to fight on multiple fronts, including the creation of a national narrative against terrorism. The harsh truth is that the militants have over time gained a firm grip on the public mind. No doubt, through operation Zarb-e-Azb we are winning the physical war against the militants but we seem to be losing the ideological battle against terrorism. This is proved by the rising wave of extremism in the country. Over the last few months a large number of Pakistanis have left the country to join the Islamic State in Syria/Iraq. Also, in open defiance of the State, the extremist elements have held public demonstration to demand the release of Mumtaz Qadri sentenced to death by the court for murdering Salman Taseer. The society as a whole seems to be getting more and more radicalized and we are not doing anything to combat the menace.